It has been a while now since the E3 2010 revealing of the Nintendo 3DS. There is a lot that we’ve learned about the console, and there is also so much that we are still to see. The line up of games is already significantly large with many promising installments amongst them such as the return of Kid Icarus, Metal Gear, Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart and Paper Mario. Already, the Nintendo DS series has brought us so much more than just a portable console – there was an internet browser, cameras, voice recorders, even note taking software. They almost had everything phones and iPods have these days. The 3DS, has more though. Looking back at the DS series, and looking forward to the 3DS, not only should we expect a portable gaming console with lots of features, but we should also be expecting very near to the power of a console like the Wii – except held in our own hands.
First off, what we’ve seen already in trailers for Kid Icarus: Uprising and even the screenshots from Metal Gear, the 3DS has awesome graphics. Of course it needs to have some significant power to be able to pull off the 3D without glasses, but it is able to do non-3D too. In what we’ve seen so far the graphics of the 3DS, as shown on non-3D screens, are far beyond what has been seen in any handheld before. Not only that, but the 3DS has a very smooth quality that isn’t pixelated anywhere near as much as its predecessors. On top of the touch screen, there is also the analog stick, as well as motion controls, utilized by tilting the 3DS left and right: similar to playing 10 pin bowling or a racing application on an iPod touch or iPhone. So its graphics, its analog stick and its motion controls make it somewhat like the Wii, and hence, more like a non-handheld console.
There has also been confirmation that Miis will make an appearance on the 3DS and can be created using the cameras. Perhaps we might be able to link up our Wii and DS Miis so that they have the same stats and so forth. The possibilities there are no doubt exciting. The sheer power of the 3DS, from the specifications we have learned to date is simply amazing. The 3DS cartridges can hold up to an amazing 2GB of data, compared to GameCube discs which could only store 1.4GB. Add to that the consoles ability to multitask, such as being in a game and browsing the web at the same time, and the 3DS is looking even better.
The last point I have to mention is in regards to the ‘virtual console’, of a sort, that allows for the downloading of GameBoy games. A virtual console of its own for portable games is the final step in making the 3DS like a portable Wii. The DSi did have the DSi shop with applications and ‘DSi Ware’, but wasn’t as extensive as it could have been. Many members of Zelda Informer, myself included, have been longing for this. Finally I can play Link’s Awakening – in 3D as a bonus. I can even get a copy of Kirby’s Dreamland for myself. How cool is that? The console even comes packaged with a 2GB SD card, so there’s plenty of room for downloaded games. There is an abundance of potential in the Nintendo 3DS, which Nintendo has utilized in making such a powerful console. I am sure that there is much more for us to still learn about this the 3DS, but no doubt, it will be like having a portable Wii, and so much more, all within our hands.